Free speech rally at UC Berkeley draws hundreds, moves to People’s Park

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Mark Unger /Staff

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Right-wing activists, police and counterprotesters converged in People’s Park on Tuesday afternoon in response to a rally organized by anti-government group Patriot Prayer.

Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson joined Daly City resident Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman on Sproul Plaza about 1:45 p.m. Chapman, a self-proclaimed “American nationalist,” was previously arrested at a March 4 rally in Berkeley on suspicion of felony assault. By 2 p.m., approximately 50 people had joined the pair on Sproul Plaza, according to a Nixle alert from UCPD.

After leaving Sproul Plaza, Gibson and some of his supporters moved toward an “empathy tent” that was set up on the corner of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. Fights and arguments broke out as Gibson fielded questions from the crowd. Workers in the empathy tent encouraged peaceful resolution as protesters and counterprotesters pushed, elbowed and shouted at one another.

“Dialogue, listening, dialogue, empathy,” urged one worker.

Counterprotesters and members of Patriot Prayer began moving out of the area of Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue about 2:20 p.m. The group, along with several dozen law enforcement officers, marched south down Telegraph Avenue. Members of Patriot Prayer chanted “U.S.A.,” while counterprotesters responded with chants of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.”

“I’m a moderate,” Gibson said, when asked whether his group aligned with the views of the “alt-right.” “I’m trying to bring right and left together.”

Police broke up conflicts between protesters and counterprotesters throughout the day. Members of activist group By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, were among the counterprotesters present at the rally.

The crowd reached People’s Park about 2:40 p.m., and UCPD released another alert urging community members to avoid the area.

Daryl Tempesta, a supporter of President Donald Trump who attended the event, said he appreciated the focus on freedom of speech.

“That’s the kind of thing that creates parity,” Tempesta said.

Cal Berkeley Democrats President Caiden Nason, however, said he did not agree with Patriot Prayer’s message.

“This is a joke,” Nason said.

At People’s Park, Chapman spoke to the crowd at large, stating that he believed there was a “war against whites” in the United States. Chapman also said he believed the rally was “another victory in the battle for free speech.”

Berkeley Police Department made at least three arrests as of press time, according to the department’s Twitter feed. BAMN organizer and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School teacher Yvette Felarca was arrested on charges of battery and resisting arrest. Las Vegas resident Ricky Monzon, 20, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a banned weapon.

Eddy Robinson, 47, an Oakland resident, was arrested in connection with participating in a riot and resisting arrest.

The park began to clear about 3 p.m., as police, Patriot Prayer supporters and counterprotesters moved back toward campus.

Staff writer Olivia Nouriani also contributed to this report.

Contact Sam Levin at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @SamJLevin.

Clarification(s):
A previous version of this article may have implied that Daryl Tempesta is a supporter of Patriot Prayer. In fact, he supports the focus on freedom of speech.

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  • Dan Tucker

    DEFUND BESERKELEY.

  • garyfouse

    It is obvious that UC Berkeley is a dysfunctional institution where free speech is extinct. You can thank the far left for that. For those of you who are students, I would ask you to stop and think for awhile why you have this situation . Think about the radical professors who are indoctrinating you. The chickens have come home to roost.

  • FreedomFan

    I haven’t seen Democrats this mad since Republicans freed their slaves.

    Keep spitting on the U.S. Constitution and the American flag, Dims. Trump needs re-election.

  • roccolore

    Free speech upsets the left.

    • California Defender

      More than upsets. Free speech causes them to erupt into a violent rage knowing that someone has (or might have) the nerve to sand up to their bullying.

      And we are doing far more than just standing up to them. We’re taking back our country.

      Every square inch of it, including Berkeley.

  • Estella Davis

    pre school as usual.

  • DancerTiffy

    Yvette Felarca is already out on bail for felony assault charges and rioting charges.
    With her latest arrest here we can only pray that her judge revokes her bail and sends her to jail where she belongs.

  • s randall

    At People’s Park, Chapman spoke to the crowd at large, stating that he believed there was a “war against whites” in the United States.

    Isn’t that what “White Nationalists” believe?

    • Graeme Stewart

      Free speech. Still lost on Cal I see.

    • FreedomFan

      Why do Democrats hate white people so much?

      • California Defender

        Good question.

        Perhaps because they are abandoning the party. Only 25% of white registered voters are Democrats. Interestingly, this number has been steadily decreasing since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, according to Pew Research.

        This explains the Democrats’ obsession with race and identity politics. To remain a competitive party, they are pushing the narrative that to be American is bad and to be something else (that isn’t European) is good. All while flooding the country with illegal aliens from those “good” places.

  • cadcam

    Fighting in the empathy tent. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • California Defender

      Well, not at Berkeley where a bloody nose is the result of empathy.

      In the real world this would be embarrassingly shameful.

  • lspanker

    Once again, it’s clear that the children of Berkeley can’t handle opposing viewpoints…

    • Emilia M.

      Berkeley…the entire campus is a daycare center, the people are so emotionally fragile, that most belong in diapers breastfeeding.

      • lspanker

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Stone and Trey Parker were working on an episode of South Park featuring Antifa et. al. for next season…

        • BerCaley

          Careful what you wish for, Spanker. SP loves to skewer hypocrisy and y’all got a lot of that going on. For example, you don’t support Milo but want him to speak. You don’t support Cheeto but … South Park would have a field day with you.

          • California Defender

            You still don’t get it, do you? One doesn’t have to agree with Milo to support the freedom of speech. One doesn’t have to agree with the President to support the people.

            Why do you think the right is monolithic? Far from it as there are evangelicals and agnostics, libertarians and conservatives, interventionists and isolationists, free-traders and protectionists, globalists and populists, environmentalists and industrialists, federalists and states’ rightists…

            This “insincerity”, as you call it, is actually what the left fears the most: civil debate in the marketplace of ideas. Just look at what happened to Sen. Luther Strange, President Trump’s pick in Alabama. Such proves his base is not a bunch of conformist sheeple as on the left.

            Franky, I’d hate to be a leftist always walking on egg shells, memorizing manifestos, and constantly afraid that one step out of line will result in masked black-clad thugs coming for you. No thank you!

          • Graeme Stewart

            They already are turning on one another! A white Antifa kid was ridiculed and sent packing cause he’s white in Berkeley. It’s so heartwarming to see them devour their own.

          • C Bierbauer78

            Undercovers like the white kid get exposed and unwelcomed. Who wants a snitch, traitor or provocateur in their ranks

          • California Defender

            What about an undocumented transgendered multiracial snitch?

            While you ponder that, I’ll ponder why you unwelcomed (with a bat?) the white kid. Did he not recite the Internationale with enough gusto? His black hoodie was not black enough? Unwilling to pepper spray a grandpa in a walker because he dared to wear a red hat? Or perhaps everyone with his skin color is always suspect.

          • Graeme Stewart

            un huh and the undergrad level usage of intersectionality was…. what exactly? Just own it bruh, they are turning on one another as the great unmasking begins.

          • lspanker

            For example, you don’t support Milo but want him to speak.

            You’re still having trouble with that freedom of speech concept, aren’t you?

          • BerCaley

            Not really. I see the distinction but I also see the hypocrisy. And South Park would as well.

          • lspanker

            Where’s the hypocrisy? I don’t have to agree with someone to defend their right to speak without getting beat up by a bunch of ignorant, intolerant morons. You’re too immature to handle that concept, because in that small, underdeveloped, childish mind of yours, you dread the thought of actually agreeing with or defending a conservative…

          • BerCaley

            > Where’s the hypocrisy?

            You are so not a free speech advocate. Responding to an article “If Cal football takes knee during national anthem, fans should too” you wrote:

            Maybe the taxpayers should punt on supporting college athletics

            But there’s more.

          • lspanker

            Your ignorance is tiring.

          • BerCaley

            You have a hard time with being quoted back to yourself?
            Take a nap cupcake.

          • Graeme Stewart

            It’s good to see BerCaley has time away from being a silicon valley low level busy bee desk jockey, I mean “data scientist” to prove Cal still doesn’t understand free speech.

          • BerCaley

            Imaginative.

          • lspanker

            BerCaley AKA CSears is, as we used to say back in the day, “a legend in his own mind”…

          • BlackConservative

            Did you even watch SouthPark on Wednesday? All it did was make fun of the cultural race baiting society we live in. This is the question I pose: do you believe a libertarian is more liberal or conservative today?

          • BlackConservative

            what are you trying to say? I’m confused? I’ve watched Southpark since the late 90’s when I was in highschool. Your comment is strange when you say field day? I think you are conflating ideas and what people say to match your narrative. How old are you?

          • lspanker

            I think you are conflating ideas and what people say to match your narrative.

            That’s pretty much his modus operandi around here. He’s quick to engage in personal attacks, but neither able nor willing to present an argument to support his position.

          • BlackConservative

            I just started coming here and it only took me about 3 interactions to realize that. It’s truly amazing but I do remember when I was young and thought I knew it all, I just didn’t have a voice or did I know that I could even be this offended. I’m surprised such an intelligent student body cannot back its “ideologies”

          • BerCaley

            > Your ignorance is tiring.

            Again, quoting you to you. Yawn.

          • BerCaley

            Since you are a conservative, doubtlessly a true conservative, you’ll be happy to know that these are your peeps:

            https://tribwpix.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/170812072518-01-charlottesville-white-supremacists-0811-restricted-exlarge-tease1.jpg

            And since you are a South Park fan I don’t need to tell you about White People Renovating Houses. But should you need it explained:

            Judging by when you went to high school, I’m a little older than your are.
            How black are you? Good to know we can dispense with all the political correctness.

          • BerCaley

            Yes. You are confused?

          • California Defender

            Your comments are being deleted by the moderators even as I try to respond. On Daily Cal, no less!

            I humbly suggest that you reevaluate your debate decorum when even leftists find the need to censure you. And when you find yourself to the left of Berkeley, perhaps is time to take a break, get some air, and reevaluate your philosophy.

        • ESPM360

          Favorite quote from Matt Stone: “I hate conservatives, but I really (expletive) hate liberals.”